By Rob Kiser
VANDALIA — The Piqua football team put together an amazing second half comeback Friday night at Vandalia-Butler.
But, it wasn’t enough to erase a 27-0 halftime deficit, as the Indians lost 27-25 in GWOC North action.
Both teams are now 5-3 overall and 2-1 in GWOC North play.
Despite the fact Vandalia was not able to make a first down in the second half until there was 14 seconds remaining, the Aviators were able to hold on for the win.
Piqua went 66 yards after taking the second half kickoff.
Quarterback Mick Karn ran 23 yards on a third-and-21 play, then ran 17 yards for the touchdown. Karn’s PAT kick got Piqua within 27-7.
Vandalia fumbled three plays later and Zane Beougher recovered the ball at the Vandalia-Butler 30.
Karn completed a 14-yard pass to Ca’Ron Coleman on a second-and-13, ran for two yards on fourth-and-one from the 10 and ran six yards for the touchdown two plays later. The PAT kick failed leaving the score at 27-13.
Two plays later, Vandalia fumbled again with Coleman recovering at the Butler 32.
On a fourth-and-five from the Vandalia 14, Karn rolled left and ran all the way to the end zone. The run for two failed and Piqua trailed 27-19 early in the fourth quarter.
Three plays later, Vandalia fumbled again and Owen Toopes recovered at the Aviator 26-yard line.
After Jerell Lewis ran five yards, Karn ran it in from the 21-yard line. Again, the run for two-points failed and Piqua trailed 27-25 with 7:58 remaining.
Butler’s Ryan Martin was tackled on his two-yard line on the kickoff and the Aviators were forced to punt from their end zone.
But, Andrew Boren was able to boot a 52-yard punt to Piqua’s 39.
Karn ran for 17 yards on the first play. On the next play Coleman ran for 18 yards, but while his forward progress appeared to have stopped well before the ball came out, the officials ruled a fumble and Vandalia took over on its own 26.
Again, the Aviators could not pick up a first down, but Boren’s punt pinned Piqua back at its 15-yard line with 2:15 remaining.
But, Vandalia’s defense rose to the challenge, as Piqua couldn’t pick up a first down and Vandalia ran out the clock.
The first half had been all Vandalia as Martin and quarterback Mason Motter both rushed for over 100 yards.
On the opening drive of the game, Motter had a 23-yard run and Martin scored from one-yard out.
Boren’s kick made it 7-0.
Piqua fumbled on the first play after the kickoff and the Indians would make only one first down in the half.
A 5-yard run by Martin capped a 39-yard drive and Boren’s kick made it 14-0.
Butler added two more touchdowns, including a 74-yard TD run by Martin and Boren made one of two kicks to make it 27-0 before Piqua’s amazing comeback.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.